The Leupold 2-7x28mm Compact Riflescope

By Chuck Hawks

Compact 2-7x28
Illustration courtesy of Leupold & Stevens, Inc.

Leupold & Stevens, Inc. is a fourth generation family owned company that has been responsible for several important innovations in the riflescope field. The most important of these are the development of the first nitrogen charged and sealed waterproof scope, the Duplex reticle, and the compact riflescope, one of which is the subject of this review.

Leupold is located in Beaverton, Oregon, U.S.A. and have been building telescopic sights for over 50 years. Leupold scopes bear a distinctive gold ring around the objective bell to aid in identification, and have have become famous as "Golden Ring Scopes." The Compact line is true to Leupold's tradition of building premium riflescopes. These are scopes of proven durability, built to last.

All Leupold Compact riflescopes come with the transferable Leupold Full Lifetime Guarantee. If any Leupold Golden Ring scope is found to have defects in materials or workmanship, Leupold will repair or replace it for free. No recipt or proof of purchase required.

All air to glass lens surfaces in the Vari-X 2-7x28mm Compact that is the subject of this review receive Leupold's standard magnesium fluoride anti-reflection coatings for enhanced light transmission and freedom from glare. It is built on a 1" diameter main tube made of 6061-T6 aircraft quality aluminum alloy and adjusted to be parallax free at a distance of 150 yards. The coin-slot windage and elevation adjustments are of the continuous friction type and are marked in 1/2 minute of angle increments. The eyepiece focus is by multiple turns of the ocular housing on fine threads and is secured with a knurled locking ring. Like all Leupold scopes, the 2-7x28 is sealed against moisture and nitrogen filled, making it waterproof and fog free.

The 2-7x28 Compact is shipped with Leupold's standard Duplex reticle. This type of reticle, with heavy a crosshair that becomes a fine crosshair near the center of the field, was invented by Leupold and has since been copied by virtually all other scope manufacturers. It is the best reticle ever designed for general purpose hunting applications. For the shooter who requires something different, the Leupold Custom Shop can install any of Leupold's 16 reticles (which include several specialized types not regularly available).

As its name implies, the 2-7 Compact was designed to be more compact than Leupold's regular 2-7x33mm variable power scope. It has a smaller front objective bell and is shorter and lighter than a standard 2-7 scope. This scope can be mounted low and overbore on most rifles, and will affect the handling and balance of the rifle less than a conventional scope. These are important advantages. Compact scopes are a natural match for today's lightweight, short action rifles.

There are two versions of the 2-7x28, one (intended for big game hunting) is adjusted to be parallax free at 150 yards, and the other (a Rimfire Special version) is adjusted to be parallax free at 60 yards and is supplied with a fine duplex reticle. They are otherwise identical.

The standard Vari-X 2-7x28 Compact reviewed here comes with a gloss black finish. It is 9.9 inches in length, and weighs only 8.2 ounces, making it one of the lightest 2-7x variables on the market. The 100 yard field of view is 41.7 feet at 2x and 16.5 feet at 7x. Optimum eye relief is 3.0-3.8 inches; the adjustment range is 80 MOA in both windage and elevation.

A Leupold 2-7x28mm Compact scope has served for many years on my Ruger Model 77RSI .308 rifle. It has proven to be completely trouble free, in fair weather and foul. The recoil of this lightweight, powerful rifle has not fazed the scope. I would feel confident mounting a Leupold 2-7 Compact scope on any caliber rifle, including my 9-pound .458 Magnum.

The 2-7 Compact offers good definition and contrast. Sharpness from center to edge is good. Lens flare is well suppressed. This is a solid hunting scope, built for the real world. I prefer 1/4 MOA click adjustments to friction adjustments, but at least the friction adjustments on my 2-7 Compact scope work well. They are tolerably accurate and never need attention once the rifle is sighted-in.

The Leupold 2-7x28mm Compact riflescope is among the best of its kind. Its retail price is fairly high, but so is its quality. It has given superlative performance over the years, the best proof of real value for the money.

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Copyright 2005 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.